The Wind Rises Is Nominated for Chicago Critics & Critics’ Choice Awards

The Broadcast Film Critics Association has announced its nominees for the 19th Annual Critics’ Choice Movie Awards. Hayao Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli’s The Wind Rises is nominated for Best Animated Feature alongside The Croods, Despicable Me 2, Frozen, and Monsters University. The CW Network will broadcast the awards show live on January 16, 2014.

In addition, the Chicago Film Critics Association has announced that The Wind Rises is nominated in the Best Foreign-Language Film and Best Animated Feature categories. Goro Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli’s From Up on Poppy Hill is also nominated in the Best Animated Feature category. The CFCA will announce their winners on December 16, 2013.

Source: ANN

Anime Films to Screen at the IFC Center Theater in New York City

The IFC Center theater in New York City will be holding a film retrospective for films released by GKIDS over the past five years. The films included in the retrospective are:

  • Welcome to the Space Show
  • A Letter to Momo
  • My Neighbor Totoro
  • Grave of the Fireflies
  • Summer Wars
  • From Up on Poppy Hill

The films will open on December 20, 2013 and will play through January 2, 2014.

Source: ANN

Anime Film Review: From Up on Poppy Hill

From Up on Poppy Hill, which is known as Kokuriko-zaka Kara, is an anime film directed by Goro Miyazaki; it is based on a 1980 comic of the same name written by Tetsuro Sayama and illustrated by Chizuru Takahashi. The film was released to Japanese theaters on July 16, 2011. GKIDS produced an English dub of From Up on Poppy Hill, and released the film to theaters in North America on March 15, 2013. GKIDS released the film as a two-disc DVD and as a Blu-ray/DVD combo pack on September 3, 2013.

From Up on Poppy Hill
Directed by: Gorō Miyazaki
Written by: Hayao Miyazaki and Keiko Niwa
Starring: Masami Nagasawa, Junichi Okada, Keiko Takeshita, Yuriko Ishida, Jun Fubuki, Takashi Naito, Shunsuke Kazama, Nao Omori, and Teruyuki Kagawa
Run Time: 92 minutes
Rated: PG

The film is set in 1963, and 16-year-old Umi Matsuzaki lives at a boarding house that overlooks the Port of Yokohama. Her mother is studying abroad in the United States as a medical professor and her father was killed when his supply ship was sunk by mines in the Korean War. Umi runs the house and looks after her siblings, Sora and Riku, as well as her grandmother. Also living in the boarding house are a college student named Sachiko Hirokouji and a doctor-in-training named Miki Hokuto.

Every morning, Umi raises a set of signal flags. One day, a poem about flags being raised by a local girl is published in the school newspaper, and her friends are sure that the poem is about Umi. The poem was written by Shun Kazama, a member of the school’s journalism club; he sees the flag from the sea as he rides on a tugboat to school. They meet in person when Shun does a daredevil stunt for the newspaper; this leaves Umi with a negative impression of him at first. However, when she later escorts Sora to the dilapidated building that houses the school’s clubs for an autograph, she gets to know him a little better.

Shun is the publisher of the school newspaper, along with Shiro Mizunuma, the school’s student government president. Umi starts becoming involved with the newspaper and learns that the future of Quartier Latin, the dilapidated building, is in danger. Umi convinces the other students to renovate the building and the female student body agrees to work with the other students.

Shun and Umi, meanwhile, have a mutual attraction to each other. However, they learn some information that could put their budding relationship at risk. It also appears that the fate of Quartier Latin could also be in jeopardy, even though the remodeling project has been taking place.

When I watched this film, it was with the Japanese audio with English subtitles, so I can only truly comment on the Japanese version of the film. Personally, I enjoyed it. This was a very well-done “coming of age” story, and as a viewer, I came to really care about both Umi and Shun. I also thought the two subplots worked well together, and that the humor that appeared during the renovation of the club building effectively complemented the more serious storyline involving Umi and Shun.

The animation in From Up on Poppy Hill looked incredible, and it looks just as good as many of Studio Ghibli’s other classic films. I especially liked the design of the Quartier Latin building.

The music in this film also sounds incredible, and almost sounds like it came out of the 1960s; it definitely helped me to believe that I was watching events taking place in 1963. There’s one song with vocals that appears in a couple of scenes in the film, which is known as “I Shall Walk Looking Up” by Kyu Sakamoto; this was a hit in Japan in 1961. However, the reason this song was chosen for the film is due to the fact that this song hit number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1963, under the title of “Sukiyaki,” so this song has some significance to the year being featured in the film. When I heard this song in the film, I recognized the music from knowing the English version of “Sukiyaki” done by 4 P.M. that was hit in the United States in 1994. So for me, it was awesome to get to hear some of the original Japanese version.

After watching this film, I think From Up on Poppy Hill will appeal to both teenagers and to adults.

When I watched this film, it was on the two-disc DVD release, so that is what this review will cover.

The first disc of this release includes the film and the storyboard version of the film. The remaining bonus features all appear on the second disc in the set.

The first bonus feature is, “Director Goro Miyazaki on Yokohama,” and it runs for about 17-and-a-half minutes. This is an interview piece, done in the style where the question is shown on the screen and it is answered by Goro. While GKIDS translated what Goro is saying, the actual questions he’s being asked were not translated, which makes it hard enough to figure out what it is that Goro is talking about. Unfortunately, as I watched the feature, I quickly came to realize that Goro has a tendency to ramble, so this made it even harder to figure out what the question was that Goro was answering. After watching this, I wish GKIDS had gone to the effort to translating the questions that appeared on the screen.

“Yokohama – Stories of Past and Present” runs for 22 minutes, and includes images of Yokohama then and now. There’s text on the screen that explains what’s being seen, and this text was translated. Unfortunately, all you get is the text and no kind of voice-over narration. While I like the idea behind this feature, I wish it had been a little more interesting to watch, especially since it runs for a little over 20 minutes.

“Summer of Farewells” music video is the music video for the ending theme song of the film. It’s interesting to note that the video uses quite a bit of the footage from the past that appears in the “Yokohama – Stories of Past and Present” feature, but that no actual footage from the film appears in it.

“English Voice Cast Featurette” shows the voice actors working in the studio, and the piece is narrated by Gary Rydstrom and Michael Miller. It runs for 21 minutes, and I thought this was overall a bit better than the “Behind the Microphone” featurettes that Disnet produced for some of their Studio Ghibli releases.

There’s also Japanese trailers and teasers for the film, and this feature includes English subtitles. Between the theatrical and television spots, this feature runs for about seven minutes. Unfortunately, some of the television spots do feel a little redundant, especially near the end. The U.S. trailer is also included as a bonus feature, and it runs for two minutes and 25 seconds. The final extra is trailers for other films that GKIDS has released.

If you enjoy From Up on Poppy Hill and don’t already own a copy in your home video library, I would recommend purchasing a copy of this film.

I wrote this review after watching a copy of From Up on Poppy Hill that my husband checked out through the King County Library System.

GKIDS and Cinedigm Announce Animation Label

GKIDS and Cinedigm have announced that the two companies are teaming up to launch a multi-platform animation label. Under the agreement, GKIDS will continue to distribute films theatrically, while Cinedigm will handle “ancillary distribution” under the GKIDS brand.

The companies have announced they will be releasing seven new GKIDS titles on home video under this new partnership. Two of the titles being released as part of this agreement are Production I.G’s A Letter to Momo and Studio Ghibli’s From Up on Poppy Hill.

Source: ANN

From Up on Poppy Hill Opens With US $55,000 in 2 NYC Theaters

The Box Office Mojo website is reporting that From Up on Poppy Hill opened this weekend in two New York City theaters, grossing an estimated US$55,000. This gave the film a per screen average of US$27,500, and this per screen average was the second highest among all films in the United States.

In addition, more theaters have announced they will be showing From Up on Poppy Hill in April and May of 2013.

April 5, 2013:

  • Los Angeles – Laemmle Noho 7
  • Denver – Landmark Esquire
  • Portland – Regal Fox Tower
  • Honolulu – Kahala 8
  • Washington, DC – Regal Gallery Place
  • Washington, DC – Angelika Mosaic
  • Boston – Hollywood Hits Danvers
  • Minneapolis – Landmark Edina
  • Omaha – Film Streams (immediately following Ghibli series)

April 12, 2013:

  • Philadelphia – Landmark Ritz at the Bourse
  • Washington, DC – AMC Rio Gaithesburg
  • Washington, DC – AMC Shirlington
  • Washington, DC – Regal Majestic Silver Springs
  • Tucson – Loft Cinema

April 19, 2013:

  • Dallas – Landmark Magnolia
  • Atlanta – Landmark Midtown Art
  • St. Louis – Landmark Plaza Frontenac
  • South FL – Living Room Boca Raton

April 26, 2013:

  • Washington, DC – Regal Downtown West Charlottesville
  • Charlotte – Regal Manor
  • Salt Lake City – Broadway
  • Ithaca – Cinemapolis

May 3, 2013:

  • Knoxville – Regal Downtown West

May 10, 2013:

  • Nashville – Belcourt
  • Milwaukee – Landmark Oriental

Source: ANN

Screenings for From Up on Poppy Hill

GKids has posted a list of theaters that will be screening From Up on Poppy Hill during March 2013. Screenings are currently scheduled for March 15, 22, and 29.

As of this writing, here is the list of theaters showing the film:

March 15, 2013

  • New York – IFC Center
  • New York – Film Society of Lincoln Center

March 22, 2013

  • Los Angeles – The Landmark

March 29, 2013

  • Queens – Kew Gardens Cinema
  • Long Island – Malverne Cinemas
  • Los Angeles – Laemmle Playhouse
  • Irvine – Regal Edwards University Town Center 6
  • Chicago – Landmark Century 7
  • San Francisco – Landmark Embarcadero Center
  • San Francisco – Sundance Kabuki Cinemas
  • Palo Alto – Cinemark Palo Alto Square
  • Berkeley – Landmark California Theatre
  • Boston – Landmark Kendall Square Cinema
  • Seattle – Landmark Theatres
  • Minneapolis – Landmark Uptown Theater
  • San Diego – Landmark Hillcrest
  • Long Island – Cinema Arts Centre
  • San Rafael – Regency San Rafael
  • Pleasant Hill – Cinemark Century 5
  • San Jose – Cinemark Santana Row
  • San Jose – Camera 7 Cinemas
  • Evanston – CineArts at Evanston
  • Waterloo – Princess Cinemas

April 5, 2013

  • Sacramento – Tower Theatre
  • Claremont – Laemmle Claremont
  • Santa Cruz – Nickelodeon Del Mar Theatre
  • Redwood City – Cinemark Century 20 Downtown
  • Long Beach – Art Long Beach
  • Lancaster, CA – BLVD Cinemas
  • Los Angeles – Laemmle Monica 4
  • Los Angeles – Laemmle Noho 7
  • Seattle – Sundance Cinemas Seattle
  • Seattle – Majestic Bay Theater
  • Denver – Landmark Esquire
  • Boulder – Cinemark 16
  • Portland – Regal Fox Tower
  • Honolulu – Kahala 8
  • Washington, D.C. – Regal Gallery Place
  • Fairfax – Angelika Mosaic
  • Danvers – Hollywood Hits Danvers
  • Amherst – Amherst Cinema
  • Boston – Landmark Kendall Square Cinema
  • Minneapolis – Landmark Edina
  • Omaha – Film Streams

April 12, 2013

  • Forest Hills – Cinemart Cinemas
  • Los Angeles – Landmark Regent
  • Berkely – Landmark Shattuck Cinemas
  • Seattle – Regal Meridian 16
  • Irvine – Regal Edwards Westpark 8
  • San Rafael – Cinemark Century Northgate
  • San Jose – Camera 3
  • Mountain View – Cinemark Century Cinema 16
  • Santa Cruz – Nickelodeon Theaters
  • Palm Desert/Rancho Mirage – Century @ The River
  • Cleveland – Capitol Theatre
  • Cincinnati – Mariemont Theater
  • Roseville – Cinemark Century 14
  • Point Arena – Arena Point Theater
  • Tempe – Harkins Valley Art
  • Philadelphia – Landmark Ritz at the Bourse
  • Gaithesburg – AMC Rio Gaithesburg
  • Arlington – AMC Shirlington
  • Silver Springs – Regal Majestic Silver Springs
  • Houston – Sundance Cinemas
  • Tucson – Loft Cinema
  • Hartford – Cinema City at the Palace
  • New Haven – Bow Tie Criterion Cinemas
  • Port Townsend – The Rose Theatre
  • Waterloo – Princess Twin
  • West Newton – West Newton Cinemas

April 19, 2013

  • Austin – Regal Arbor
  • Dallas – Landmark Magnolia
  • Plano – Cinemark West Plano
  • Atlanta – Landmark Midtown Art
  • St. Louis – Landmark Plaza Frontenac
  • Boca Raton – Living Room Boca Raton
  • Gainesville – Hippodrome Theater
  • Madison – Sundance Cinemas
  • Mobile – The Crescent Theater
  • Millerton – The Moviehouse
  • Bar Harbor – Reel Pizza & Cinerama
  • San Luis Obispo – The Palm Theatre
  • Sebastopol – Rialto Cinemas
  • Santa Rosa – Summerfield Cinemas
  • Laguna Niguel – Rancho Niguel 8
  • Richmond – Bow Tie Criterion Cinemas at Movieland
  • Annapolis – Bow Tie Cinemas Annapolis Mall 11
  • Ft. Collins – The Lyric Cinema & Cafe

April 26, 2013

  • Charlottesville – Regal Downtown West
  • Charlotte – Regal Manor
  • Ithaca – Cinemapolis
  • Las Vegas – Regal Village Square
  • Bellingham – Pickford Film Center
  • Marthas Vineyard – MV Film Center
  • Atlanta – Landmark Midtown Art
  • Athens – Athens Ciné
  • Anchorage – Bear Tooth Theatre
  • Springfield – The Moxie Cinema
  • Montreal – Cinema du Parc
  • Nashville – The Belcourt
  • May 3, 2013

    • Knoxville – Regal Downtown West
    • Waterville – Railroad Square Cinema
    • Davis – Davis Varsity Theatre
    • Park City – Cinemark Holiday 4
    • Gloucester – Cape Ann Community Cinema
    • Ogden – Arthouse Cinema 502
    • Ithaca – Cinemapolis
    • Santa Barbara – Metropolitan Fiesta 5

    May 10, 2013

    • Miami – O Cinema
    • Winter Park/Orlando – Regal Winter Park Village
    • Sarasota – Regal Hollywood 20
    • Milwaukee – Landmark Oriental
    • Bakersfield – Maya 16
    • Shreveport – Robinson Film Center
    • Ann Arbor – Michigan Theater
    • Olympia – Capitol Theatre / Olympia Film Society (starts May 11)
    • Ann Arbor – Michigan Theater

    May 17

    • Tulsa – Circle Cinema
    • Lake Park – Mos’ Art Theater
    • Des Moines – Fleur Cinema
    • Grand Rapids – Celebration Cinemas North
    • Lansing – Celebration Cinemas TBD
    • Lancaster – Zoetropolis (opens May 15)
    • Pittsburgh – Harris Theater
    • Providence – Cable Car Cinema
    • Boca Raton – Living Room Theaters
    • Tacoma – Grand Cinema
    • Stamford – Avon Theater
    • Ft. Worth – Fort Worth Museum of Modern Art
    • Dubuque – Mindframe Theaters
    • Olympia – Olympia Film Society

    May 20

    • Edmonton, Canada – Metro Cinema

    May 22

    • Hamilton – Hamilton Theater

    May 24

    • Patchogue – Plaza Media Arts Center
    • Columbia – Ragtag Cinema
    • Rosendale – Rosendale Theater (5/26 only)
    • Kansas City – Tivoli Theater
    • Tampa – Tampa Theater
    • Columbia – Nickelodeon
    • Albany – Spectrum Theater
    • Winston Salem – Aperture Theater
    • New York – Cinema Village
    • Seattle – Landmark Crest Cinema
    • Portland – Laurelhurst Theater
    • Portland – McMenamins Kennedy School Theater
    • Portland – McMenamins Mission Theater
    • Bend – McMenamins St. Francis Theater

    May 31

    • Durham – Carolina Theatre
    • Monterey – Osio Plaza Cinemas 6
    • Bijou – Bijou Metro
    • Birmingham – Edge Theaters 12

    June 7

    • Saskatoon – The Roxy Saskatoon
    • Geneva – Smith Opera House

    June 14-16

    • Paducah – Maiden Alley Theatre
    • Boulder – Boedecker Theater
    • Champaign – Art Theater
    • Burien – Tin Theater

    June 17

    • Beaufort – Center for the Arts

    June 21

    • Oklahoma City – Oklahoma City Museum of Art
    • Lewisburg – Campus Theater

    June 22

    • Mt Vernon – Lincoln Theater

    June 28

    • Montgomery – Capri Theater

    July 2

    • Albuquerque – Guild Cinema

    July 10

    • Nyack – Palisades Center / Rivertown Film

    July 19

    • Chicago – Gene Siskel Film Center

    July 26

    • Toms River – Traco Theater
    • Cleveland – Cleveland Museum of Art

    New York Int’l Children’s Film Fest Screening Anime

    The New York International Children’s Film Festival will be screening From Up on Poppy Hill, Wolf Children, and Welcome to the Space Show.

    • From Up on Poppy Hill will be screened on March 16 and 17, 2013
    • Wolf Children will be screened on March 9 and 24, 2013
    • Welcome to the Space Show will be screened on March 3 and 16, 2013

    From Up on Poppy Hill Nominated for Annie Award

    The International Animated Film Society, ASIFA-Hollywood has announced the nominations for the 40th Annual Annie Awards. Hayao Miyazaki, Keiko Niwa, and English-language dub’s Karey Kirkpatrick have been nominated in the Writing in an Animated Feature Production category for From Up on Poppy Hill.

    The Annie Awards will be presented at UCLA in Los Angeles, California on February 2, 2013.

    Source: ANN

    Arrietty and Poppy Hill on Golden Globe Shortlist

    The Hollywood Foreign Press Association has announced the 12 animated films that will be vying for a nomination for the Best Animated Feature category at the 70th Annual Golden Globe Awards. Both The Secret World of Arrietty and From Up on Poppy Hill are among the 12 films on the shortlist for a Golden Globe nomination.

    The HFPA can choose up to five films for the final nominee list; the official slate of nominees will be announced on December 13, 2012. The 70th Annual Golden Globe Awards will be held on January 13, 2013.

    Source: ANN